Centre looks to appoint industry professionals, experts as professors

Updated on Mar 12, 2022 12:17 AM IST

The provision will be made a part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 implementation, that advocates bringing diversity in the university education system.

As per the current norms, it is mandatory to have a PhD for appointment at the posts of associate professors and professors. (HT file)
As per the current norms, it is mandatory to have a PhD for appointment at the posts of associate professors and professors. (HT file)
By, New Delhi

In a move aimed at reforming the recruitment norms for central universities, the government is considering to bring in a provision for the appointment of professionals and industry experts as ‘professors and associate professors of practice’, officials privy to the matter said on Thursday. The provision will be made a part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 implementation, that advocates bringing diversity in the university education system.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) will constitute an expert committee to revise the existing regulations.

The proposal was discussed during a meeting of the central university vice-chancellors (VC) with UGC chairperson Jagadesh Kumar on Thursday.

“Under the NEP, there is a great emphasis on educational institutions to collaborate with the industry. From the industry side also, a lot of people want to contribute in the education field. But if you look at our current regulatory system for appointment of faculty members in higher education institutions, it doesn’t permit us to appoint experts from industry as of now,” he said.

As per the current norms, it is mandatory to have a PhD for appointment at the posts of associate professors and professors. Soon, PhD will also become mandatory for the position of assistant professors — an entry level post at universities or colleges.

“Most of these industry experts, including a great media person, an entrepreneur, a diplomat or a banker, don’t have PhD degrees but they have thorough knowledge and excellent experience. If we keep that mandatory PhD requirement, there is no way of bringing such a diversity in the university education. Therefore, we are considering revising our current regulations and introducing new positions which will be known as professors of practice and associate professors of practice,” Kumar said.

The appointees at the professor or associate professors of practice category are distinguished professionals, either practising or retired.

The UGC is also considering to provide a provision to the central universities to rope in these professors or associate professors of practice as visiting faculties.

“After a committee is formed and the existing appointment regulations are revised, the said recommendations will be put in the UGC and passed. Once passed, any university, not necessarily the central universities, can bring a diverse knowledge base in their system,” Kumar said.

When asked if these new positions will affect the existing fixed faculty positions in each central university, Kumar said, “The committee will be asked to frame norms in such a way that no existing teaching faculty position will be impacted.”He said that the majority of the VCs welcomed the proposal.

DU VC Yogesh Singh said globally universities are already appointing professors and associate professors of practice. “If the UGC is trying to promote it in the Indian university system then it is a welcoming step,” he said.

Besides, the UGC is also going to launch an integrated portal for faculty recruitments for all central universities. Presently, every university has its individual portal. “Every university, including JNU, and DU, have their individual faculty recruitment portals. They advertise the vacant posts there. Candidates come to these portals, submit applications and then the university processes it. Instead of every university duplicating the process, the UGC will provide them an integrated portal,” Kumar said.

Whenever any university will advertise any position on the portal, these candidates will be automatically updated about it, he said, adding, the prospective candidates can register on the portal and submit the information in a standard format. These applications will be automatically transferred to the respective universities.

“The application fee will also be transferred to the respective universities. It will also help the UGC to monitor the vacant positions and status of recruitment,” Kumar said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Fareeha Iftikhar is a principal correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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